Co-founder of Diaspora passes away aged only 22 [Updated]

Diaspora is a networking service currently in closed beta, after having been founded in 2010 by four students at a New York university. Unfortunately, one of these four founders will not be able to see the project through, reports TechCrunch. The news has also been posted on the Neowin Forums.

Last night, news from around the technology community on the internet suggested that Ilya Zhitomirskiy, one of the four people responsible for founding the project, passed away. After TechCrunch reached out to the Diaspora team to verify the information, it was confirmed to be true. Ilya's cause of death is currently not known, but it is a saddening time for the technology community in general, since he was a mere twenty-two years of age, and had a potentially bright future in the business sector.

Coming up with words to say about the passing of Ilya Zhitomirskiy is difficult, since it is difficult to know what he could have achieved in the future. We can only send our best wishes to the entire Diaspora team, Ilya's family and friends, and the three colleagues he helped create the network with. The tech community can achieve great things and we have undoubtedly lost someone who could have helped create even greater things in the future.

UPDATE: According to @BreakingNews, Zhitomirskiy committed suicide. The tweet can be read here. CNN also carries an article here.

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Diaspora had such high promise, but just faded away. It was Diaspora that spearheaded the idea of internal groups within friends lists (they called it 'Aspects'). This is something that can very easily be seen in G+'s integration of 'Circles' [and now, somewhat, in Facebook]. It really is a shame to hear this news though.

R.I.P

I'm not trying to be insensitive here, but why the heck does the "technology community" feel shocked about the death of a young guy?

I mean, is not that their service or their knowledge has been changing our lives or something. Diaspora never became something more of an interesting service in closed beta, at least as of today.

Sure, it's tragic whenever someone dies, specially young people but I think this article was posted just to be "trendy" and go with the flow. How did the author come up with a sentence like this: "Coming up with words to say about the passing of Ilya Zhitomirskiy is difficult, since it is difficult to know what he could have achieved in the future."

The same can be said for many young guys and girls that have a bright future. There's nothing to say, except that any death is tragic, specially early in life.

/rant off

ajua said,
I'm not trying to be insensitive here, but why the heck does the "technology community" feel shocked about the death of a young guy?

I mean, is not that their service or their knowledge has been changing our lives or something. Diaspora never became something more of an interesting service in closed beta, at least as of today.

Sure, it's tragic whenever someone dies, specially young people but I think this article was posted just to be "trendy" and go with the flow. How did the author come up with a sentence like this: "Coming up with words to say about the passing of Ilya Zhitomirskiy is difficult, since it is difficult to know what he could have achieved in the future."

The same can be said for many young guys and girls that have a bright future. There's nothing to say, except that any death is tragic, specially early in life.

/rant off


*dislike*

"Diaspora is a networking service currently in closed beta..."
So.... What is Diaspora? Sounds like a runny poop scented flower. Is it a social networking site? I thought the article might give me a clue being that Diaspora is not a "household name". Maybe they make routers? Router software?

Invizibleyez said,
"Diaspora is a networking service currently in closed beta..."
So.... What is Diaspora? Sounds like a runny poop scented flower. Is it a social networking site? I thought the article might give me a clue being that Diaspora is not a "household name". Maybe they make routers? Router software?

It's a social network that was designed from the ground up to be everything that Facebook isn't. It's an open-source, distributed and privacy oriented social network. At it's most basic level, it works basically how facebook does (minus apps and pages and "likes" and all that stuff I don't use on Facebook), but if you want more control over your information, you can store your profile on your own website, and hook it into the Diaspora network so that no companies control your data.

It really is quite cool, and it's getting better, but it's still in it's first beta (it went to beta about 2 weeks ago) at the minute, so it's not open to the general public yet unless you can get hold of an invite.

" one of these four founders ((((has will not)))) be able to see the project" er... what?

also.. suicide is incredibly selfish and stupid. It's a permanent solution to a temporary problem.... So if he did do it, then good riddance!

Ently said,
" one of these four founders ((((has will not)))) be able to see the project" er... what?

also.. suicide is incredibly selfish and stupid. It's a permanent solution to a temporary problem.... So if he did do it, then good riddance!


What's stupid with this sentence is your ignorance.

Ently said,
" one of these four founders ((((has will not)))) be able to see the project" er... what?

also.. suicide is incredibly selfish and stupid. It's a permanent solution to a temporary problem.... So if he did do it, then good riddance!

His life he can do wtf he wants.

Jub Fequois said,

What's stupid with this sentence is your ignorance.

Care to explain my ignorance?

If you believe that suicide is not selfish and/or stupid then I am afraid the ignorance is with you and your sheltered life. IF you have had someone close to you commit suicide then you would understand the impact it has.

Ently said,
" one of these four founders ((((has will not)))) be able to see the project" er... what?

also.. suicide is incredibly selfish and stupid. It's a permanent solution to a temporary problem.... So if he did do it, then good riddance!

I don't know that that's a very fair thing to say at all to be quite honest. On the reverse, you could say that it's very selfish for others to expect you to live an unhappy life for their benefit...

Suicide (And depression) is far more complex than taking other people's feelings into consideration. It's sad that he felt it was the only option left to him, and unfair for people to call him selfish for the choice that he made.

Ently said,
" one of these four founders ((((has will not)))) be able to see the project" er... what?

also.. suicide is incredibly selfish and stupid. It's a permanent solution to a temporary problem.... So if he did do it, then good riddance!

Just remember the old adage, never speak ill of the dead. Instead of going on conjecture, spare a thought for this poor guys family and what shi*t they are going through.

R.I.P Zhitomirskiy wherever you are

M_Lyons10 said,

I don't know that that's a very fair thing to say at all to be quite honest. On the reverse, you could say that it's very selfish for others to expect you to live an unhappy life for their benefit...

Suicide (And depression) is far more complex than taking other people's feelings into consideration. It's sad that he felt it was the only option left to him, and unfair for people to call him selfish for the choice that he made.

Exactly!

The very act of living is in and of itself a selfish act. So anything we do to further that life, or not to, is our choice and is driven by our own desires.

The request that he continue to live his life "for others" is as silly a notion, to me, as keeping a terminally ill relative alive when they are enduring heavy suffering at the end of their life "because they mean so much to you".

I think too often we value the life of others in a selfish "I want them around" sense and less in a "are they happy" sense. We have to remember firstly that anyone's life is their choice and we have to respect and understand that first.

I hope his family and friends can recover from the loss, but no need to belittle the guy for making a choice. Since it was his life any choice he made on what to do with it was as valid as any and should be respected as such.

Ently said,

Care to explain my ignorance?

I believe others have already provided with adequate answers for this. And yes, I've had more than one person close to me commit suicide. For instance, a 13 year old girl I knew since her birth. I've seen both sides of it, and the middle.

Ently said,
" one of these four founders ((((has will not)))) be able to see the project" er... what?

also.. suicide is incredibly selfish and stupid. It's a permanent solution to a temporary problem.... So if he did do it, then good riddance!

Gotta keep population levels down somehow.

Ently said,

Care to explain my ignorance?

If you believe that suicide is not selfish and/or stupid then I am afraid the ignorance is with you and your sheltered life. IF you have had someone close to you commit suicide then you would understand the impact it has.

And arrogance is with you.
Who do you think to be? Marcus Porcius Cato Uticensis?
Who entitle you to come out and judge? Only a blind arrogant can think to be able to know what is going on somebody else mind.
Different cultures influence and drive people minds; what could be unacceptable for some culture/religious beliefs is perfectly acceptable for others.
Humility not arrogance is the way to greatness......

Maybe not... Maybe it was someone from Facebook who sent someone to get rid of him, and henceforth a "fake" phone call...

...
Guess I've been watching too much movies lately.

Was thinking the same, wouldn't be surprised if it was one of Facebook's shareholders ordering a kill and then make it look like a suicide.

Salty Wagyu said,
Was thinking the same, wouldn't be surprised if it was one of Facebook's shareholders ordering a kill and then make it look like a suicide.

Are you high?